It’s understandable how awful it is to see your home after water damage. You’ve probably felt hopeless and have no idea what to do after the water has subsided from your home. You might think that you just have to deal with the effect of the water damage and try to hide the scar made to your home. But don’t worry, there’s always a way to bring your home back to life.
To shed you some light, listed below are the most common causes of water damage inside your home:
- Leaking pipes
- Plumbing troubles
- Defective household appliance
- HVAC units
- Clogged gutters
- Toilet overflows
- Sewage backups
- Leaky roofs
Moreover, you should always conduct preventive maintenance for your plumbing and appliance that involves water as it could be a call for disaster for your home. Nevertheless, if water damage has already occurred to your home, you should immediately do damage control as soon as possible to help release the water out of your house and bring back your floorings and walls into tip-top shape. If you’d like to know more about how to restore your home after water damage, read on below:
Hire A Service
If you’d like to get things done fast and professionally, you can always hire for a service like Summit Cleaning & Restoration in Portland or in any other areas. By hiring a professional, you can be sure that they’d be able to restore the condition of your house in the best way possible while also ensuring that it’s perfectly safe to move back in with your kids and pets. A water damage restoration service is responsible for structure cleaning, emergency board-up and tarping, containment of the affected area, immediate removal of water, inventory pack-out, to name a few. With their service, you’ll surely be getting your money’s worth.
Furthermore, a water damage restoration team should be quick to call and respond to your home as soon as possible for immediate damage control and home restoration. Turning to a different page, if hiring a service can be quite expensive on your end and is out of your budget, you can always do it independently. Listed below are the steps that you need to take to restore your home:
Since you’re restoring your home after water damage on your own, you should always practice safety habits in your home to lessen any possibilities of accidents.
- You should start by switching off the flooded and nearby area’s electrical power to ensure that there’ll be no electricity that could pass through the water as the effects could be fatal.
- After shutting down the power, the next thing that you should do is to close your home’s main water inlet valve to prevent any possibility of contaminating your home water system, which could add additional problems for your house.
- If there’s a large flood in your home, you should also close your gas supply and throw away any damaged food to prevent food poisoning in case of accidental consumption.
- Lastly, you should never walk in a flooded area without any physical protection. You should wear waterproof boots as there could be sharp objects hiding on your floor, just waiting to be stepped on and cause damage.
Clean Up Your Home
You should throw away any debris that has been brought by the flood. After the flooding in your house, don’t expect it only to require drying and vacuuming. The water that has come into your home would probably bring junk along with it.
- After finishing with clearing up the trash that the flood brought to your home, you could start cleaning your home one step at a time by identifying which items you could salvage and which you should throw out.
- You should remove all of your furniture and let it dry outside your home. You can choose to have them dry cleaned, or you can discard them. If you’re throwing away a ton of furniture in your home, you might want to consider hiring a rubbish removal service that aids in removing the furniture from your home in a single sitting.
- If you have any upholstered furniture, you should dispose of them immediately as it might absorb harmful contaminants that could bring diseases or illness to your family.
Dry Your Home
After finishing removing the furniture that has been affected by the flood, you should dry your home immediately. You should wait until the surge has vanished so you could proceed with removing the moisture that has stayed on your flooring.
- If you have carpeted flooring in your home and the flood has soaked it, you should replace them immediately as it may contain contaminants that could harm your family.
- If you have wooden floorings, you might consider removing the moisture from your flooring first before deciding to have them repaired or replaced. You can remove the humidity by using electric, gas, or hand pumps to remove dead water on your floor. Navigate through your flooring and see the lowest part of the flood and pump there. You should be careful with using an electric pump as it can be a culprit for an accident if the energy gets in touch with the water.
- After removing the water, you should throw it away in the sewage system, tanker truck, or your backyard, where you’re sure that it won’t cause any harm to people in your home.
- After successfully removing the water in your home, you should allow it to air dry. You could help by opening your doors and windows and invite fresh air inside your home. You could even use electric fans and your heating system to speed up the drying process.
By drying your house, you’ll be able to keep mold and rot away, allowing to lessen the damage to your household.
Call Your Flood Insurance
If you have one, you should call your flood insurance company immediately after cleaning up your home. They should assist with your current coverage and schedule an adjuster to assess your house with the damage. Flood insurance is a type of property insurance that covers your expenses in case of a flood inside your home that’s caused by heavy rain, melting snow, storm surges, blocked drainages, or dam failure. The flood insurance policy pricing will vary depending on the flood zone, elevation, property age, and the number of floors of your household.
To strengthen your case with the insurance company, you should keep your damaged material in your yard for proof of loss until an adjuster was able to visit your place. Along with this, you should also take photos before and after cleaning up for proper inventory. With an adjuster, they’ll be able to determine any damages existing in your home and how much your insurance company can cover them.
Get an Air Test
Many families don’t do an air test right after the flood in their home. While it may seem unnecessary, missing this step could put your family’s life at risk. You should get an air test inside your home to ensure your air quality is safe to breathe in. If the condition isn’t the same as your outside air, you should immediately get out of your house and call for help to repair the air condition in your home.
Start Repairing Your Home
After calling your flood insurance company, and they’ve supplied you with how much they can cover from the damage, you can finally begin repairing your home. If the damage only takes a portion of the house, you can still live inside, provided you have limited access. However, if the damage to your home is severe, you might need to find a temporary shelter until all the repairs are done. When it comes to house repair, you should look for a reputable contractor with vast water damage experience as they know how to get things done. They’ll know what to do with your house and how you can recover from it.
Hiring a contractor can be expensive, especially if your house requires many repairs. When you hire a contractor, make sure that you’re getting a reasonable quote for their service and try to get a quote with different contractors to see if one’s overpriced. You can research for proper contractors, or you could ask for recommendations from your neighbors, family, and friends. In most common cases, house repairs include your flooring, wall, etc. Depending on the damage, it might need repairs, or you could have them replaced. If the budget permits, you should have the damaged part of your house replaced to ensure no contaminants stay in your home during the flooding.
Replacing floors and walls isn’t a one-day job. It could take weeks to months to complete them. With this, you have to be patient while waiting for the results. It’s a grueling process but it’s worth the wait. Before repairing your home, you should check in with the authorities as certain house repairs need a city permit. You have to make sure that you’ve settled this before repairing it as it can cause liabilities for your family. After finishing the repair for your home, you could provide a few touch-ups, such as painting and fixing your plumbing and electrical system, if the flood has damaged them. Ideally, you should have your home in tip-top shape before proceeding with moving back in as contaminants can be harmful to your family.
Start Cleaning Your Furniture
While waiting for your house repair to finish, you could start cleaning your furniture so that it could be functional again. However, if you see that the damage has been severe, or it’s an upholstered piece of furniture, like a sofa or mattress, the best choice is to have it replaced. With this, you’ll be able to keep your family safe.
Here are some steps you can follow when cleaning your furniture:
- Begin by removing all the mud that covers your furniture. If it has drawers, you should remove every piece and clean it individually. If there are any existing padding, you should discard them because they’ve likely absorbed contaminants.
- After removing mud from each piece of furniture, you should use commercial furniture-cleaning products specific to the type of material you’re using. With this, you’ll be able to thoroughly clean your furniture, allowing your home to be restored little by little.
- You must note that you shouldn’t wax or refinish your furniture until it completely dries out. This can cause more harm to your furniture as the moisture can get trapped inside.
- After cleaning your furniture, you should allow it to air dry and avoid direct sunlight as the sun’s heat could damage your furniture, making the restoration a failure. With this, drying your furniture could take several weeks to months for them to be completely dry,
Prevent Mold Inside Your Home
After finishing the repair of your home, you should do preventive maintenance to avoid any further damage that has been caused by the flood. Even after you’ve replaced your flooring, it most likely already accumulated moisture that could form molds if left untreated. To prevent molds from forming inside your home, you should:
- Continuously use your air conditioning unit and heater (depending on the weather) to allow the air to circulate in your home. If you don’t have any cooling or heating system in your home, you should keep your windows open and use a fan to promote proper air flow.
- Ideally, you could also use a dehumidifier to remove humidity inside your home.
- You should also turn on your electric lights to facilitate faster drying. If the flood has taken over the whole floor, you could choose to keep your doors open.
- Try to reduce any activities that add moisture to your home. You should always use exhaust fans when you’re cooking and bathing to remove the steam off of your house.
Preventing any formation of mold in your house is essential even without a flood. However, if a flood had just occurred, you should do the steps mentioned above intensively for a few weeks to months, to be sure.
Seeing your home get flooded is an awful view. But there’s nothing you can do about it if the flood has already damaged your home. Your next steps should focus on restoring your home to make it livable again. You should practice safety precautions and clean up after the mess before calling your insurance company and start with the repair. The restoration process can take a while but the results would be worth it once you see your home back to normal.